United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER OF REMAND
S. Cayer United States Magistrate Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's “Motion
for Summary Judgment” (document #14) and
Defendant's “Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings” (document #15), as well as the parties'
briefs and exhibits.
parties have consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and these Motions are now
ripe for disposition.
considered the written arguments, administrative record, and
applicable authority, the Court finds that Defendant's
decision to deny Plaintiff Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) is not supported by substantial evidence.
Accordingly, the Court will grant Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment; deny Defendant's
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; reverse the
Commissioner's decision; and remand this matter
for further proceedings consistent with this Memorandum and
procedural history is not in dispute. The Court adopts the
procedural history as stated in the parties' briefs.
filed the present action on October 12, 2016. She assigns
error to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)'s treatment
of the consultative opinion from John H. Bevis, M.A., LPA, a
licensed psychological associate, and to the ALJ's
formulation of her mental Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). See Plaintiff's
“Memorandum ...” at 3-5 (document #14-1).
parties' cross-Motions are ripe for disposition.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and §
1383(c)(3), limits this Court's review of a final
decision of the Commissioner to: (1) whether substantial
evidence supports the Commissioner's decision,
Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 390, 401
(1971); and (2) whether the Commissioner applied the correct
legal standards. Hays v. Sullivan, 907 F.2d 1453,
1456 (4th Cir. 1990); see also Hunter v. Sullivan,
993 F.2d 31, 34 (4th Cir. 1992) (per curiam). The
District Court does not review a final decision of the
Commissioner de novo. Smith v.
795 F.2d 343, 345 (4th Cir. 1986); King v. Califano,
599 F.2d 597, 599 (4th Cir. 1979); Blalock v.
Richardson, 483 F.2d 773, 775 (4th Cir. 1972).
Social Security Act provides, “[t]he findings of the
[Commissioner] as to any fact, if supported by substantial
evidence, shall be conclusive.” 42 U.S.C. §
405(g). In Smith v. Heckler, 782 F.2d 1176, 1179
(4th Cir. 1986), quoting Richardson v. Perales, 402
U.S. 389, 401 (1971), the Fourth Circuit defined
“substantial evidence” thus:
Substantial evidence has been defined as being “more
than a scintilla and do[ing] more than creat[ing] a suspicion
of the existence of a fact to be established. It means such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.”
See also Seacrist v. Weinberger, 538 F.2d 1054,
1056-57 (4th Cir. 1976) (“We note that it is the
responsibility of the [Commissioner] and not the courts to